Welcome to another installment of Shrimp & Grids, the column where we dissect the meals of Instagram’s most followed. Why would we subject ourselves to such scrolling? Because whether we like it or not, the influencer economy is shaping what we buy, wear and yes, eat. Let’s dig in!
Okay, well, you can eat The Rock’s personal chef’s coconut banana pancake recipe. Above is a very soothing video of pancakes, filmed and narrated by The Rock on a rainy morning in Hawaii. He’s showing off pancakes created by his “family friend and chef,” Chef Puttie, pancakes that are packed with shredded coconut, coconut milk, coconut water, bananas, and sugar, then smothered in peanut butter. Those patient enough to watch the Rock’s entire video will be rewarded with footage of him gleefully dousing the flapjacks in maple syrup. We simply have to stan a delicious breakfast covered in sugar! Check the caption for the full recipe, if you like.
Perhaps the reason Dwayne is so utterly amped on these pancakes is because it’s his one delicious meal of the week. The Rock frequently posts about what he calls “Cheat Meal Sunday,” the sole day of the week on which he says, “Fuck It Eat It All 🤣.” Indeed, Sunday appears to be the only day of the week on which Mr. Johnson sources joy from food. Otherwise, food is merely fuel to make Dwayne look like The Rock. Toxic, and also a bummer! But let’s not lay the judgment on Dwayne himself. How many livelihoods depend on The Rock maintaining this absolutely superhuman body by only enjoying food one day per week (to say nothing of the millions who would otherwise be left un-entertained)? Once again, the villain of this Instagram post is capitalism.
Are we influenced: A hearty Y E S for Chef Puttie’s famous banana coconut pancakes! A hearty H E L L N O for the entire concept of Cheat Meal Sunday!
Here is Ulisses, a man with as many muscle groups as the universe has galaxies. His abdominal muscles are so pronounced they look like an exoskeleton. Ulisses’ body is enviable enough to earn him 8.1 million followers and a workout clothing brand called U Apparel. It makes sense that Fitstagrammers (sorry) post about food a lot. After all, not enough exercise in the world could shape a superhuman body like Ulisses’ were he eating like, you know, a normal person would. Now, there are a lot of destructive eating habits in this sphere of Instagram—a lot of piles of protein powder, a lot of “hard boiled eggs for every meal,” a lot of pretending an apple is as delicious and satisfying as a burrito, a lot of “Cheat Meal Sundays.”
But, praise be! That’s not what we have here! Here’s a video of an absolutely jacked man preparing sautéed shrimp and lobster tail with onion, garlic, red pepper, and green onion. Delicious! And it looks like he actually does his own cooking, which we simply love to see. Sure, Ulisses is plugging his personalized meal programs here—eat these lobster tails and your biceps, too, will resemble volleyballs. But at least he doesn’t use the words “protein” or “carb” or “hack” or “fuel” at all. Great job!
Are we influenced? To add frozen shrimp to my grocery list? Absolutely! But... lobster, too? Oh, Ulisses, we don’t all have that sweet, sweet U Apparel cash.
It seems like every celebrity has an alcohol brand these days. The Rock has Teremana Tequila; Kendall Jenner just launched 818 Tequila; Michael Jordan has Cincoro Tequila; Nick Jonas has Villa One Tequila—okay, fine, they’re all tequila. But Irish UFC champion Conor McGregor isn’t like the other boys. He launched Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey in 2018, and last month, Jose Cuervo (never mind, he’s just like the other boys) bought McGregor out of the brand for an estimated $310 million. Whew. Why, then, is filthy rich Conor McGregor terrorizing this poor teenage clerk?
Anyway, the boxer posted a video of himself buying a bottle of his own whiskey at whatever Irish people call a convenience store. “You sell Proper Twelve do you? How’s the sales of it going?” asks McGregor. The kid says it’s going well. Keep the following in mind: Conor McGregor is a professional fighter who is crazy and good at fighting people. And he once punched an old man in the head, allegedly for refusing a shot of Proper Twelve. So what the fuck is this kid going to say? “This is the second to last bottle, is it?” McGregor goes on. The kid mumbles another yes, presumably shaking in his little Irish boots. I mean, wouldn’t you?
Are we influenced? Would I take a shot of Proper Twelve if Conor McGregor told me to online? Probably not. In person? I like my face intact, so, definitely.
So, that’s what big, jacked dudes eat: pancakes, lobster, and whiskey. Tune in next time, by which time I’ll have eaten so much seafood, booze, and brunch that I’ll be twice my mass in pure muscle.